What happens when a cop loses a gun?

You’ve probably read the reports of a Kalkaska Sheriff’s Deputy leaving their firearm on their vehicle like it’s a bag of groceries. What happens when that happens?

First of all, it happens more than you think. A few police-issued guns go missing each year in the State of Michigan.

Do you have to report a lost gun in Michigan?

No, you don’t have to report a lost gun in Michigan. Michigan law 28.430 says that you have to make a police report only if your gun is stolen. You don’t have to make the report if your gun is only lost. If your gun is stolen, you have five days to report it to the police.

Is it a crime to lose a gun in Michigan?

While the officer’s actions are certainly shocking, there really isn’t a criminal charge waiting for him. Now if his gun is used to commit a crime and he recklessly lost it on the hood of his vehicle, there could be the question of whether qualified immunity applies. Qualified immunity is the idea that cops aren’t liable for anything, ever. But there are exceptions for violating constitutional rights. The problem is that qualified immunity doesn’t apply only when an officer violates a constitutional right or a clearly established legal right. Losing a gun isn’t really that. So what happens when a cop loses a gun? Probably nothing.

Now if you and I did that in our private lives, the world would end. A private security officer would probably lose their job in a hot second for losing their weapon. But this is the government.

Kalkaska Sheriff’s Department Missing Gun

The Kalkaska sheriff says that the officer was disciplined, but they didn’t give specifics. I don’t know about you but I definitely feel safer knowing that these guys are in charge of law and order in Kalkaska County. (Where are the women sheriff’s officers, BTW? Don’t see any in that picture.)

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2 thoughts on “What happens when a cop loses a gun?”

  1. Over the past several years there have been a number of lost gun cases in GT county. We often hear of the incident – at least some of them – but not the final outcome, and whether charges are filed, or any sentence.

    It would be nice to read a summary of the outcomes, with an eye toward whether there is bias in charging decisions.

    Unfortunately, reporting on our local government agencies is mostly a quickly fading memory.

  2. There’s also the laws that allow police to outright lie on their reports without any repercussions. I’ve experienced it first hand at the hands of TC law enforcement. I don’t doubt this happens everywhere– but it’s a big reason why anyone who has contact with LE should start the cameras rolling asap. It’s the last line of defense against the corrupt inner circle of LE and in the TC area this includes the judges who have declared they are on the side of LE almost as if they are one in the same as the prosecutors. TC needs to wake up– revisit their Judges.

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